Former Cougs’ country band plays locally

WSU alumni work to increase music presence locally and nationally


JORDAN MAXWELL | The Daily Evergreen

Luke Olson, left, and Isaac Olson of the Olson Bros Band jamming to original and iconic country songs in the Sigma Chi parking lot for West Fest 2017 on Thursday.

Blaine Ross, Evergreen reporter

Born in a garage six years ago, The Olson Bros Band is living the classic American band story.

Last weekend, Luke and Isaac Olson of The Olson Bros Band played the Panhellenic fundraiser West Fest and shared a few stories about the band’s inception.

Former Cougs, the brothers were born in the greater Pacific Northwest region and grew up in Summit Lake, Washington. Small town boys living just a skoosh west of the state capital, the two drove to school together every day.

They also played sports together, like baseball and tennis doubles. In addition to sports, the brothers sang in choir. Their mother even made Luke take piano lessons, which was a leap from being one of his favorite memories, he said.

They started playing guitar together shortly after they graduated from high school and had musical influences ranging from Darius Rucker to Michael Bublé.

After high school, the brothers had yet to start a band, but they’d mess around with music. Eventually, their father grew tired of them being around the house and Luke said he remembers his father saying, “You guys need to get a job or play out on the street.”

Courtesy of The Olson Bros Band
The Olson Bros Band play classic country hits as well as write and play their own original songs.

The duo followed their father’s advice and started playing outside coffee shops and on the street corner. From that experience, they gained the skill and confidence to make trips to Portland, San Francisco and Venice Beach, where they street performed.

“[We] probably didn’t make our gas money back,” Luke said when talking about the road trip, “but we made memories.”

The brothers continued to make music and in 2013, they went on to win Lakefair as well as the Texaco Country Showdown National Songwriting Contest with their song “Sunrise.”

“When we wrote that song, I didn’t think we’d ever write a better song,” Isaac said. “But we just keep writing better songs, we just keep doing it.”

After their Texaco win, they went to Nashville, which provoked them to push themselves to make better music with an acoustic album dropping in October.

Luke is the businessman of the band and is negotiating another record with big labels in Nashville.

The brothers’ goal is to get their music on national radio. Currently, Luke and Isaac have music on local country radio stations and have aspirations of making the Country Music Hall of Fame. They said they have a firm belief that they can achieve these goals.

“You just gotta believe, you know, that the next song is going to be better but even if it’s not, you just gotta keep doing it,” Luke said. “You gotta believe it and you gotta keep doing it. You can’t stop. If you believe it, they’ll believe it.”